Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

February 28, 2010

Library will revisit new user fees after Chrysler tax agreement

The boxy, fluorescent-lit interior of the Kokomo Main Library, essentially unchanged since the late 1960s, is gone, ripped out and carted away by contractors.

This week, the old building will step into the sunshine.

Contractors will demolish parts of the building’s exterior walls on all four sides, to make way for massive glass panels.

Natural light, diffused by more glass panels inside the building, will brighten the public spaces, replacing the antiseptic feel of the old building.

Work on the $3.4 million renovation won’t be complete until fall, but already the interior is taking shape.

Interior demolition work is finished, and the studs are in place, revealing subtle angles.

Interior walls are gone for good, to be replaced by either open spaces or glass panels. The children’s collection will run most of the length of the ground floor to the left of patrons as they enter off Union Street. On the right, they’ll see the audio-visual collection.

Glass paneling will semi-separate the collections from a central hallway, and the checkout desk will move to the center of the ground floor.

The main staircase between the first and second floors is gone, replaced by a two-story staircase connecting the lower level, ground floor and second level.

The staircase and the glass panels will contribute to the new feeling of openness inside the building, but the exterior glass panels will be the most striking architectural feature.

Each panel will stretch from the sidewalk to about 2 feet above the roofline, library director Charles Joray said Thursday.

The panel on the north side of the building, facing Mulberry Street, will be 24 feet wide; panels on the east and west sides of the building will be 16 feet wide, and a panel on the south side will be 7 feet wide, Joray said.

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